BY PHILIPPE CARON
Holidays are already here with the Toronto Christmas Market opening Thursday, Nov. 15.
Running until Sunday, Dec 23, this year’s festivities are once again taking place at the Distillery Historic District.
After hosting more than 650,000 guests last year, the festival hopes to continue the yearly increase in attendance.
“More lights, lots more lights. More romance, more magic. More hand holding. New exciting foods and even more Instagram photo ops,” says Emily Zajac director, Marketing & Festival Relations.
Access to shops and restaurants in the distillery are open seven days a week although the market is closed on Mondays. Guests can enjoy the festivities free from Tuesday to Friday at 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. on Friday there is a $6 entry fee, a $20 express pass ticket can be purchased to avoid long entry lines.
The Toronto Christmas Market is a well known not-for-profit organization, and the money collected for the busy weekend entry is all donated to three charity partners including Daily Bread Food Bank, Plan International and Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund.
The market is bringing back all of its favourite attractions like the 50-foot Christmas tree that is donated by Forests Ontario. The 100-foot stunning light tunnel has added so may more lights making the experience better than ever.
There are over 400 stage performances this year following a daily theme:
• Traditional Tuesdays – bluegrass, folk, roots, traditional
• World Wednesdays – world music, dance, and cultural performances
• Classical Thursdays – seasonal opera, oratorio, and cross-over Classical performances
• Friday Night Jazz – holiday jazz and swing
• Pop/Variety Saturdays – emerging artists (afternoon) and featured artists (evening), performing pop, rock, adult contemporary, blues and more
• Ensemble Sundays – Instrumental ensembles (afternoon), vocal ensembles and choirs
Torontonians can enjoy many more attractions such as a daily Santa’s elves sing along during the week at 5 p.m and on the weekends at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. There will also be daily Christmas carollers and carolling sing-alongs. For a complete listing of events visit their site.
The Market offers activities and attractions for everyone. Make sure to get your picture with the Heart of Christmas. The family entertainment zone has Santa’s house where you can get your photo with Santa and let him know what you want for Christmas along with ferris wheel and carousel rides. Indigo pop-up shops offer holiday magic where guests can warm up and experience books gifts and toys of the season.
One of the main attractions are the 35 vendors that are showcasing their products for the public. Enjoy holiday food, clothing and Christmas themed accessories for all that enjoy spreading the Christmas spirit. Theres something for everyone.
The seven beer gardens are a perfect experience for adults. They are open from 5 p.m to close Tuesday to Friday and 11 a.m. to close Saturday and Sunday. Find beverages like Glühwein (Mulled Wine), many variety of craft beers, and European Christmas cocktails like hot toddies.
Look for for Mill Street Beer Garden, Winter Craft Beer Lounge, Holiday Spirits Square, PMA Canada Wine Hut, PMA Canada Holiday Lounge and the El Catrin Tequila Terrace.
If you need anymore information about how to spend your time at the Toronto Christmas Market or to purchase tickets please visit their website.